Food and venues guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart (and worth taking your fluffy slippers off for)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is my favourite restaurant. But you don’t necessarily need to go for dinner. Their cozy African decorated bar area is the perfect place to enjoy a bottle of red. They have a great selection that goes right up the price scale, but for R190 you can enjoy a bottle of Ernie Els – The Big Easy. Pair that with a bowl of their delicious biltong for R55 and you have the perfect safari setting for a Winter date or overdue catch up with a friend! The more adventurous can try sitting outside by the log fires in the courtyard. My spot is the couch right in front of the fireplace inside!
Address: G9 & G10, Hobart Grove Shopping Centre, 88 Hobart Rd, Bryanston, Johannesburg, 2193
Nothing beats a roast on a chilly Winter’s day and Hodges is the perfect spot for a family outing for a Sunday roast. This place is by no means trendy and the average patron is on the older side – but that’s because they have figured out where to get great value and an absolutely delicious Sunday Roast. There is a choice of Chicken (R105), Pork (R110), or Lamb (R120) and all roast lunches come with a Yorkshire Pudding, rice, roast potatoes, mixed veggies and gravy. You can also bring your own wine for a R40 corkage fee, which makes this more affordable than having a roast at home! Don’t leave without having a slice of their carrot cake (R34).
Address: Ground Floor. The Colony Shopping Centre. 345 Jan Smuts Ave. Craighall Park. Ph: 011 880-5010.
Workshop55 has all the trendiness that Hodges doesn’t – bizarre artworks and lavish red and gold wallpaper give it Gentleman’s club meets Great Gatsby look. I would highly recommend popping into one of their saloon seats for a G&T before a dinner or date in the Parkhurst/Parktown North area . . . But do move on for dinner unless you are feeling quite prosperous. The restaurant offers 3 small plates for R240, which isn’t great value and not very much food – although it is tasty and well presented. Where they really start getting cheeky is the wine with the cheapest option being R250.
Therefore stick to the Gin Bar on the side where you can choose between 22 gins, 9 tonics and a number of infusions: A double Inveroche G&T with elderflower tonic and a slice of orange will set you back R120. They are delectable and it’s a classy way to start off an evening. The bar is warm and has good service.
Address: 55 7th Ave, Gauteng, 2193
4. The Cradle Restaurant
Joburg’s clear Winter days offer the perfect opportunity to take a drive of only 30 minutes to one of the lovely country restaurants that make you feel hours away. The Cradle is an excellent option. It opened last August as part of a The Cradle Boutique Hotel on a nature reserve near Lanseria. When you enter the property you feel like you are in the middle of the bush. The restaurant is sophisticated yet simple. It is completely open on one side to maximize the bush view and their deck is a perfect spot for a long lunch as you get sun but it’s not too hot. If you get a clear Saturday or Sunday and the temperature is around 15 degrees then head through to this gem that is still relatively below the radar. The service is excellent and the menu features craft beers (R40) and something for all tastes from lamb shank to flatbreads to banting burgers and salmon. I had the rump (R120 before sides) which was delicious. Don’t leave without having their warm chocolate fondant with whiskey cream (R52) – the perfect end to a winter meal!
Address: Route T9 Kromdraai Road, Lanseria, 1748